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ChargedUp is June's Featured Business of the Month

Tue, 26 June 2018

Hugo Tilmouth won a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award in June 2017 for his business, ChargedUp
ChargedUp is the UK’s first power bank rental service. The business has created a network of self-service stations around London that allows users to rent power banks, charge their smart devices and then return the banks to any station in the network. ChargedUp has partnered with cafes, restaurants, bars and retail venues around the capital to provide a secure service allowing users to charge their phones on the go. ChargedUp’s power banks are powered by green energy to offer a sustainable solution to low-battery anxiety.
 
ChargedUp started as a University project but the team quickly saw the commercial potential of their idea. While the core concept has remained the same since inception, the technology behind the project has evolved to offer the best service possible to users.
 
With a new launch happening soon, we sat down with ChargedUp co-founders, Hugo Tilmouth and Hakeem Buge to find out what’s next for their award-winning business.
 
What was the inspiration behind ChargedUp?
ChargedUp was inspired by the problem that many of us have faced on numerous occasions, running low/flat on mobile phone battery while you are out and about without a convenient way to charge your phone. The goal is to build the network in cities to the point that users are never more than a five minute walk from a ChargedUp station, making ChargedUp the best and most convenient charging solution.
 
How did you get into entrepreneurship? Did you always want to go into business for yourself?
I have always been interested in problem solving and creating innovative solutions to day to day issues. I believe that the first thing any entrepreneur does is identify a need and provide the best possible solution to it. So, I guess I have always been entrepreneurial, but I never said I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I just really wanted to solve this problem.
 
What challenges did you face when setting up your business?
There have been a number of challenges along the way, setting up the business was not the testing part but getting people to see the vision and believe it was the first real challenge we faced. Winning the Shell LiveWIRE award gave us so much confidence and was a springboard with a great reputation. It has led to so many opportunities.
 
What is your biggest (or proudest) achievement with the business?
I believe I can speak for the entire team when I say that the proudest moment for everyone on the team was walking into venues and seeing people using ChargedUp batteries, especially when we hadn’t prompted them. They felt the pain points and chose to use our service.
 
You won a Shell LiveWIRE Award in 2017, how have things changed for you since then?
Things have changed considerably since then, back when we won the award we were a concept with a product in development, now we are launching our service in Shoreditch!
 
What’s next for ChargedUp?
We are currently expanding and growing our network across London and the rest of the UK. That is our primary focus at the moment, but we have a range of offerings in development as well.
 
What role do you think entrepreneurs will play in the transition to a low carbon society?
I think innovation and new ideas will play a crucial role in the low-carbon society we hope to live in. And I believe that the people who will be behind these ideas will be young entrepreneurs with products and services we can get behind.
 
What’s your approach to risk as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur I believe you have to be willing to take calculated risks, risks cannot be avoided in business.
 
What’s the most important personality trait to have as an entrepreneur and why?
Passion: I think you need to be truly passionate about what you are working towards, there are times where things will go wrong, and you would need something to fuel you. Your passion may be all you have but the good thing is, passion can be enough fuel through hard times
 
If you could return to this time last year would you do anything differently?
Strangely enough I wouldn’t. Every mistake was a wonderful learning opportunity that I am very grateful for.
 
What advice would you give to aspiring young entrepreneurs?
I would tell them to never miss an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to build their network and that it’s better to share your idea with people than to keep it to yourself because they help keep you accountable and you never know where help can come from.
 
Got a Smart Idea for a Business? 
Do you have a smart business idea that will provide a solution to the world’s future transport, food, energy, or natural resource challenges, or make our urban environments cleaner and more sustainable places to work and live in? If so you can apply online now for funding!

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